People who believe in superstitions, their belief, and their economical, social and political activities are all controlled by these superstitions.
Superstition deprives people from reasoning. And whenever they are afflicted with a disease, bad luck or mishap, they ascribe them with certain evil forces which they think will ruin their lives.
In this verse, a case of superstition has been mentioned. It states that whenever good come to people, they used to say that ‘this is due to us’ (that is, the good luck is because of them, not from Allaah). And when evil afflicted them, they attributed it to evil omens connected with Musa and those with Him. But, in reality, every good and evil omens are from Allaah Ta’alah, but most of them are unaware.
All things that happen to us, good and bad, arrive at a time prearranged by Allah as a means to test who is the best in faith. The Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa sal lam), said: ‘there is no such thing as superstition’. Belief in superstitions is regarded to be a grave act of shirk, or ascribing partners to Allah, which is the one and only sin that Allah Almighty will not forgive. Islam disregards such behaviour because it affects a Muslim’s belief in Tawakkul (dependence of Allah) and a Muslim’s belief that Allah Almighty alone controls the outcomes of all things. Superstitions are a deception of the devil to drive humans away from Allaah. The one who has faith in superstitions has undeniably pursued the devil and is no longer on the path which leads to Allaah.
Good fortune or misfortune
There are certain people who consider that in some matters or in some days, months etc, there is good fortune or misfortune.
Some people believe that wearing amulets (ta`wiz) and different objects will protect them from evil forces, bad luck, calamities and evil eyes. Some think that such object or plant in their houses or yards or a piece of thread around their wrists, ankles or waists will bring them fortuity and will repulse unluckiness.
The Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa sal lam) said: ” Whoever wears an amulet to ward off evils, Allaah Ta’alah does not fulfill his need, and whoever wears a sea-shell around his neck, Allaah Ta’alah does not give him peace. ” (Ahmad)
In a Hadeeth, it has been pointed out that whoever wears objects like amulets and strongly believes that they will guard them against evil, then that person will be entrusted to the care of those objects only. Regrettably, those objects can neither profit them nor harm them.
Wearing these amulets is the same as ascribing partners with Allah and it definitely invalidates all the good deeds of a Muslim. The detrimental effects of amulets are that they divert the hearts of Muslims from placing their trust in Allah and make them dependent on the things that they have written, and they make people live in constant fear of what may or may not happen. A Muslim should keep away from them and seek Allah’s help in every aspect of his life.
Examples of Superstitions (Some false beliefs)
- 1. To burn chilli and salt to remove evil eyes.
- 2. When a black cat walks across someone path, it is regarded as a bad luck.
- 3. To make babies wear black and white bracelet to guard them against evil eyes.
- 4. To tie red ribbons in vehicles to protect against evil eyes and misfortune.
- 5. To keep a pair of scissor under the pillow of a baby or a girl who is going to get married for protection against adversity, evil, bad luck etc.
- 6. If dogs bark at night, it is said that someone will pass away.
- 7. To wear rings, chains etc in which there are signs, for instance, zodiac signs for safeguard.
- 8. Some regard number 13 as unlucky.
- 9. Some regard certain types of persons as a bad omen, such as, the lame or the blind, or the poor or needy.
- 10. Some regard certain places as unlucky, for instance, a place in which a crime occurred, the bed, room where a person has died or his utensils, dress, etc
- 11. Some people take some days and months as bad luck, for example, in the month of moharrum, nikkah are not held, etc
- 12. When eyes blink, some say that a mishap will occur.
- 13. Walking under a ladder is assumed bad luck.
- 14. Cracking a mirror is considered bad luck.
- 15. Etc etc etc
The above cited fake beliefs/myths and many others come under the heading of superstition that is strictly prohibited in Islam. There is no limit to such erroneous belief. Each family and each region have their own rituals and superstitions.
Our Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi was al lam) said that “Tiyarah (Superstitious belief in omens) is shirk”. (Tirmizi, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah)
If we open the door to superstition, without a shred of doubt, our lives will be ruined and the world will become a hard place to stay and we will imagine that everything is a bad omen. When we will come across something or run into someone, we will imagine that this is bad luck and we will live in constant fear of what may or may not happen.
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar (Rahmatul Allaahi Alaihi) said that when a person believes that in certain thing there is good luck or bad luck and he determinedly sticks to this notion, then Satan works his trick. He does waswasa (put doubt) in the mind of the person and makes that person consider those things as good or bad. But, in truth, those things do not have any effect in themselves. They can neither profit nor harm that individual. Satan frightened people with the natural things around them, which Allaah Ta’alah has created for the service of men. And when people tightly believe in such things, they start observing that what they thought is actually materializing. As a consequence, their faith increases in such things. They become attached to those things and start relying on other things beside Allaah Ta’alah. Thus, their hearts and faith get corrupt.
A dedicated person should not risk his mind, heart and belief by such superstitious fabrications. On the contrary, he should trust that everything is under the dominion of Allaah.
The son of Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi was al lam) and the eclipse
The son of Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam), Ibrahim, passed away. On that day, there was the solar eclipse. People said that the solar eclipse was responsible for the decease of Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) son. When Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) heard this, he addressed the people and said: “Oh people, the sun and the moon are the two signs of Allaah Ta’alah. And the birth and death of a person is not influenced by the present of an eclipse.
The Messenger of Allaah, Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) has taught us that there is no connection in these natural events, that is, the eclipse and the death of his son. The eclipse occurred by the command of Allaah and his son departed this life by the command of Allaah.
Certain individuals think that the month of Moharrum is a month of sadness and melancholy. As a result, people avoid organizing nikkah and refrain from undertaking important works.
It is Allaah Ta’alah who has created the months and the days. And Allaah Ta’alah has not decreed any month or day as gloomy, sorrowful, unlucky or ill-omened.
The chain letters of Sheikh Ahmad
There exists today a very repugnant practice among Muslims particularly. It is the participation in chain letters that keep on circulating from time to time in which many things are written which are contrary to the teaching of Islam.
It is an action where someone sends a letter with some sort of story pertaining to Islam, and then they put a condition at the end of the story to distribute the letter to a certain number of people. The condition usually is a severe warning against not propagating the letter to the certain number of people in which case some calamity or mishap will occur if it is not done. And even an example is cited of someone who completely disregarded the letter and failed to distribute them and as a result his son passed away, he lost his job and so on.
In other cases, the condition proposes a special benefit for propagating the letter to the certain number of people. Likewise, a case is specified in the letter about someone who has act accordingly and has distributed the letters and as a consequence, he was rewarded with a job, money and so on.
At present, there are several sms and e-mails which contain such messages. All these are the plans of the enemies of Islam. These messages have very harmful and dangerous effects because such beliefs necessitate negation of belief in Allaah’s Qadr and because it causes the heart to become attached to other than Allaah.
Ordinarily, this is a form of shirk. To obtain fortuity or be afflicted with trouble, to get a job or lose a job, to attain success or destruction do not depend on the circulation of these letters, sms or e-mail. But, in fact, it is Allaah alone who can benefit us or harm us.
Objects for protection and security
Faith healers or black magicians often give people objects for protection and security to keep either with them or in their houses or to bury in their yard, etc.
They keep these objects for protection against Satan, witchcraft and to ward off evil eye.
Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) said that all these are shirk.
In these talismans, amulets or lucky charm, sometimes there are seeds of mustard, clove, ashes, rose flower, photo, etc. How come these things are capable to guard against Satan, black magic or evil eyes? It is exclusively Allaah Ta’alah who grants protection and security not mustard seeds, clove, ashes, rose flower, photo, etc.
Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) liked optimism and He was always optimist and He declared superstitions unacceptable. (Bukhari)
If a person is optimist, then:
- a) His heart is satisfied and he resides in tranquility and harmony.
- b) He reinforces his mind.
- c) He becomes fearless.
- d) He places his trust in Allaah Ta’alah.
- e) He seeks help with Allaah Ta’alah only.
On the contrary, if he is superstitious, then:
- a) He becomes suspicions about the natural things that Allaah Ta’alah has created.
- b) His everyday life is affected and disturbed.
- c) His contemporary interest is damaged.
- d) His spiritual interest is damaged.
- e) He disobeys Allaah Ta’alah.
- f) He ascribes partner to Allaah Ta’alah (that is, he commits shirk)
If someone has to carry out an important task or has to take a crucial decision, Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) has taught us:
- 1. To do Mashwara (A consultation that is made with people who act according to the principles of Sunnah) or,
- 2. To perform Istikharah (Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) was teaching His companions the method of Istikharah the same way as He was teaching a Surah in the Qur’an).
To predict Destiny
There are among mankind people who claim knowledge of the unseen and the future. They are known by various names, among which are: fortune-tellers, soothsayers, foreseers, augurs, magicians, prognosticators, oracles, astrologers, palmists, clairvoyant etc.
The ignorant believe that if they know what is in store for them in the future beforehand, they may take preventative measures to avert the bad and ensure the good. Yet, Allaah’s Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam), was told by Allaah to say:
Furthermore on the other hand, there are people who read horoscope to know their future. These individuals have committed a very severe crime, they have committed Kufr because they have rejected the truth of the Holy Qur’an:-
Astrology, horoscopes, superstition and fortune-telling are all actions of jaahiliyyah (ignorance) which Islam considers as a grave act of shirk because they involve depending on something other than Allaah and believing that benefit and harm come from something other than Him, and believing the words of fortune-tellers and soothsayers who falsely claim to have knowledge of the unseen in order to cheat people of their money and change their beliefs.
Those who wish to know their destiny
People visiting fortune-tellers are divided into two groups:
1) (Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) said that: “He who approaches a fortune-teller/diviner (Araaf) and asks him about anything, his prayers will not be accepted for forty days and forty nights”. (Muslim)
There are some people who visit diviners/fortune-tellers without really believing their falsehood and predictions. These people commit a grave sin and their prayers are not accepted for forty days and forty nights.
The chastisement in this Hadeeth is simply for approaching a fortune-teller and asking him questions out of curiosity, even though one has suspicion about the truth of his statements.
Such a severe punishment has been assigned for only visitation because it is the first step to belief in fortune-telling. If one went there doubtful about its reality, and some of the fortune-teller’s predictions come true, one will surely become a true devotee of the fortune-teller and an ardent believer in fortune-telling.
When one is in doubt about the truth or falsehood of astrological information, this entails that he is in doubt about whether or not others have knowledge of the unseen and the future besides Allaah. Therefore, this is a form of Shirk, because Allaah has clearly stated:
2) Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) said: “Whoever approaches a fortune-teller and believes what he says, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad”. (Abu Dawood)
The people of the second group are those who visit such foretellers and they believe in their forecasts. If a person confidently believes in those predictions, then he commits Kufr (that is, he becomes a non-Muslim).
Araaf is a person who declares that he possesses the capacity to foresee the destiny of someone; what will happen to him in the future.
Therefore, no matter what name they use, all clairvoyants, fortune-tellers, mediums or people reading tarots and signs are in the same category if they talk about and decree on what the religion prohibited to talk.
And all these fall in the category of shirk Akbar (Major Shirk) because:
- i. It involves acquiring the knowledge of the unseen and to be well-aware about the knowledge of the unseen, which is unique to Allaah.
- ii. It implicates employing jinns and to stay firm to them by submitting completely to them and showing obedience to them.
The persons who predict destiny seek help from Satan
Once contact and contract with the Jinn are made by fortune-tellers, the Jinn may inform them of certain events in the future. The Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) has described how the Jinn gather information about the future. He elucidated that the Jinn were able to travel to the lower reaches of the heavens and listen to some of the information about the future, which the angels pass among themselves.
Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) further explained that the angels guard the lower reaches of the heavens cautiously, and most of the Jinn were chased away with meteors and shooting stars to propel and avert them from hearing, except in one or two rare occasion where the jinns thrive in hearing one or two conversation. Afterwards, these Jinns return back to earth and inform those who are implicated in forecasting the future.
The persons who foretell destiny are big liars and they commit sins shamelessly. The Prophet (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) said: “That is a bit of truth which the Jinn steals and cackles in the ear of his friend; but the fortune-teller mixes along with it a hundred lies.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
The friends of Satan
There are certain people, who in their ignorance do not have a clear perception concerning the people who predict the future. And consequently, they remain in confusion regarding the actions of the araafs: for example, to treat the sick or inform about the unseen. Hence, the ignorant people take the araafs as the Wali of Allaah. And ultimately, they start seeking help from them and search protection from them and keep Allaah aside.
Islam has established the disparity between the friend of Allaah and the friend of Satan.
The friends of Allaah maintain the limits of Allaah, they follow the commands of Allaah in their lives and they stay away from sins.
And it is not a condition that the friends of Allaah should demonstrate mystical powers that the ignorant take as miracles.
In reality, the mystical powers that the faith healers or black magicians show are the work of Satan. Hence, we should not let us carry away by these things.
Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam) said: “whoever learns anything of astrology has learned a branch of witchcraft. The more he/she increases his/her knowledge in this subject, the more he/she increases his/her sins. No believing Muslim should ask another what his star-sign is, or attempt to guess what it is. Nor should he or she read horoscope columns in newspapers or listen to them being read. If, however, one believes in the predictions of their horoscopes, whether spoken by an astrologist or written in books of astrology, he falls directly into Kufr (disbelief). Any Muslim who allows astrological predictions to determine his actions should seek Allaah’s forgiveness and renew his Islam.
Allaah has created the stars for three purposes: to adorn the heavens, to stone the devils and as signs by which to navigate. Whoever seeks anything else in them is mistaken and does not benefit from them, and he is wasting his time and effort in seeking something of which he has no knowledge.
And they pretend that if someone is born under such and such star, then he will see this or that. For example, he may say that one person’s life will be miserable because he was born under this star, and that another person’s life will be happy because he was born under that star.
The Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam), was leading the Fajr prayer at al-Hudaybiyah, following rainfall during the night. When he had finished praying, he turned to the people and said: ‘Do you know what your Lord has said’? They said: ‘Allaah and His Messenger know best’. He said: ‘This morning one of My slaves became a believer in Me and one became a disbeliever. As for the one who said, ‘We have been given rain by virtue of Allaah and His mercy’, he is a believer in Me and a disbeliever in the stars. But as for the one who said, ‘We have been given rain by such and such a star’, he is a disbeliever in Me and a believer in the stars.’ (Bukhari)
Islam has shown that astrology and horoscope, numerology and destiny guessing, all these are false. And they are shirk (to associate with Allaah in prayer) because it implies:
- a) To depend on others apart from Allaah,
- b) And there is the belief that good and bad come from others apart from Allaah,
- c) And those who pretend they have knowledge about the unseen, they mislead people and corrupt their belief.
- 1. Superstition is fake and there no truth in it.
- 2. Natural things (tress, broom, cat, places, days or months etc) do not cause good fortune or ill luck to people.
- 3. Every decision comes from Allaah Ta’alah and not from other things.
- 4. Ghosts and haunted house etc are all the deception of Satan and jinn.
- 5. The Messenger of Allaah Ta’alah, Prophet Muhammad (Sal lal laahu alaihi wa Sal lam), was always optimist.
- 6. Salaah Istikharah is recommended when a very crucial decision needs to be taken.
- 7. The one who forecast destiny or says that he knows what will happen in the future commits shirk.
- 8. Those who predict the future work with Satan and jinns.
- 9. And the friend of those people is Satan.
- 10. To gain the knowledge of horoscope means to acquire knowledge of witchcraft and witchcraft is shirk.